Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘injury’

Juxtaposing the negatives with the positives

Some days you wake up and just know that it’s not going to be a good one. The day just takes on a certain “air” to it. Today was one of those days, for various reasons.

Today was the first day since I left my full-time newspaper job that I was genuinely frustrated. More frustrated than I can even relay. See that face? That’s what I looked like at 6 a.m. this morning when I realized that a name server propagation that I started the day before still wasn’t showing up for me. The good news is that my boss could see it.

So could the client. But any necessary changes would be completely unseen by me.

Head. Hits. Desk. In. Frustration.

The site turned out to be fine, a beautiful culmination of four-months of work. It was one of those issues, the first in a long time, I had to admit was completely out of my control. I couldn’t make anything happen faster. I did everything correct. It just wasn’t showing up for me. Hence the 6 a.m. wake-up call for me.

And, yes, those are my running clothes. And my husband has a Samuel Adams mirror. My new “schedule” lately has been waking up early, working for about three hours, then heading out for a run before it hit the triple-digit temperatures we’ve been getting in Northern California lately.

As I was trying to navigate through all of that, I also remembered that today was the day I should be checking my email for word from Nike about random-draw entry into the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. A huge group of ladies from my running club signed up, and a man or two. I’ve mentioned before my luck over the past two years.

In 2011, I didn’t get in through random draw. But I got to run as part of a sponsored team. In 2012, my running club group was accepted through random draw.

This year? Not so much.

goodbad2

As much as I wasn’t surprised and slightly relieved that the $175 race fee wouldn’t be deducted from my American Express, I was really sad for the women in the running club who wanted this to be their first half marathon.

And it’s still kind of a bummer. But it, essentially, solidified my race calendar for the rest of 2013.

But as much as I wanted to rebel against the Nike random draw and say “buy all the Lululemon things instead” (one of my friends did that, apparently, I like that idea), I realized that the positives in my running life and my life in general are completely outweighing the negative.

Sometimes you need to be reminded about things like that. These are the things I’m thankful for right now:

SITE LAUNCHES

A year ago, I felt like I was fighting never-ending battles and getting nowhere. My creativity was hampered. I just felt like I was going nowhere in my profession anymore. There was no growth personally or professionally.

Today marked the fourth (or fifth?) site that I’ve helped launched that I’ve worked on. And this one was MASSIVE. I spent an enormous amount of time on it over the past few months. When a site finally goes live, there’s just a feeling that encompasses both relief, but also great satisfaction that I did something amazing.

I’m thankful that I’m back to growing in my work and learning new things every day.

EATING REAL FOOD

goodbad6

I didn’t make mention of it here, because I was still a little unsure of making a commitment, but about a month ago, I decided that my husband and I were no longer eating quick-pasta meals, frozen pizzas or anything that came out of a box in our freezer. At least for dinner.

I’ve had some severe stomach issues in the last two months, thanks to my missing gallbladder (which I still, for the record, don’t miss). I’ve had to trim down even more from what I was eating even two months ago. My body is rebelling.

Since I’ve cut out a lot of processed things, that’s stopped. Unfortunately I can’t cut down on ALL processed food. My husband doesn’t support that diet. He should, but he’s a spice-it-up-and-cook-it-to-taste-good-even-if-it’s-not-all-that-healthy guy. That said, I realized in the middle of my site launch last night that I hadn’t yet eaten dinner.

I buckled and went to McDonald’s. I immediately regretted it. And my stomach made me very aware it was not happy. Back to real food.

HIP HEALTH

goodbad5

Ignore my slightly-dirty running clothes. That’s my ever-offending left hip that’s been giving me problems. On Wednesday, I ran seven miles in the morning. Then I went out to Mountain House and ran three with my running club. I even kept pace with the lead runner.

goodbad1My leg wasn’t screaming at me at all. In fact, it felt nice to get out and run a faster, stronger pace. That was my longest-distance day of the week. I realized that I’m oh-so-close to 100 miles, which I’ve told myself repeatedly isn’t my goal each month.

But with two days left, I’m eight miles away. I’m not feeling bad. I’m running well. And the stupid hip injury may have just been a symptom of pretty significant overuse (someone remind me not to book five races in a two-month period), instead of something more permanent.

I’m keeping my paces mostly slow, but if I can keep going at this rate, I should be able to pick the pace back up in a week or so.

PREVIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS

goodbad4

Most people run Nike for a necklace. I’ve run it the past two years because I wanted to challenge myself. It’s a tough course. It’s a beautiful course. But it’s not the only San Francisco-based run that goes along that route.

In fact, the first half of the San Francisco Marathon covers nearly an identical route, except in the last couple miles.

The necklace is a nice touch. It’s a beautiful gift. But both my Nike Women’s Marathon necklaces aren’t exactly my favorite necklaces ever. I have a roman numeral 26.2 necklace that I love more. I’m more afraid of losing my Nike necklaces than anything. So I don’t wear them often.

I would have been excited if I got in. But the price increase this year kind of turned me off.

But you know what? I’ve run five marathons. In August, I’m running my 20th half marathon.

“I didn’t get in,” I pouted to my husband earlier.

“Boo hoo,” he replied back.

As much as I’d love to get a reprieve entry and, maybe, run it, I’m good with the wait until next year. No running over to the Nike Facebook page and complaining about how unfair it is. No crying. No regrets.

It’s just another race. Two years ago it meant the world to me, because it was the one race I saw myself doing that crazy first-year of running half marathons. I’ve been lucky enough to run it.

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve cut down on races year after year. I think 2014 will include even fewer. I think most people will think it’s for financial reasons, but in reality it’s not. It’s because I’m running better, with not as much stress weighing on me. That’s making embrace running more and really want to put 100-percent into a race. I can’t do that racing twice a month, even if one race is a 10K.

So I’m cutting back. I realized when finishing the San Francisco Marathon that after five marathons, I’m finally understanding 26.2 better. I don’t think 2014 will be the “year of the marathon” like this has turned into the “year of the PR,” but I’m becoming less anxious about the goals I once considered “unattainable.”

Now everything is a little bit more within reach.

The good news …

… is that my left IT band/thigh/butt is not as cranky as it has been.

I dare say that I think running has actually done it some good. I’m walking up the stairs a little better now too. I’ve run two six-milers in two days. So far, so good. No residual effects. No lingering pain.

Maybe the pain was a knot? Or maybe the two weeks of rest, minus a marathon in between, was just what I needed?

Either way, it’s good to be back to running pain free. Now I just need to workout a training plan for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon. It’s going to come quicker than I realize.

‘I broke my butt’

butt5

For the longest time, my left IT band has been really cranky. This weekend, it became full-on mad. Not just mad. It’s pissed off. And it’s letting me know.

I can’t blame it, really. I have run four races in a six-week period. I’m kind of asking for it. But I’m supposed to run the San Francisco Marathon this weekend. The full 26.2. And now, after pushing myself to a 2:16:41 PR in the half marathon (which I still haven’t written about but absolutely need to this week), I may have done more damage than I should have.

When I finished the See Jane Run Half Marathon on Saturday, my leg hurt, but the knot wasn’t horrible. I was limping, slightly, though.

So I decided to rub it out.

And roll it out.

butt1

I spent a chunk of Saturday night doing a hard-core rub on my left thigh. Except I may have worked a little too hard to get the knot out. Because now I’m in even more pain than I was on Saturday.

I’m even kind of waiting for a bruise to develop. It hurts that bad.

My running buddies are doing a six-mile jaunt tomorrow at 6 a.m. I sent a text message saying I couldn’t come.

“I broke my butt,” I said.

I can’t even sit in my office chair, so I’ve spent all day working on my freelance assignments on my couch, where I can adjust pillows underneath my thigh. I also made a mid-day trip to my local drug store to get some pain relievers.

Or at least I’m hoping they are pain relievers.

butt4

I’ve had one of these patches on for a couple hours now. I’m not feeling any immediate relief.

But I really, really did some damage to my thigh muscles…so should I be feeling better? Probably now. I kind of just feel like I got kicked. It reminds me of a soccer injury from when I was in high school.

A little bit ago, I switched to a gel treatment.

butt3

And….that’s not helping much either.

I’m a bit bummed about this. I’ll be more bummed if this isn’t just a temporary bruising and a bit of abuse on my part. I hope it’s not something much more serious.

But I’m taking it a day at a time. San Francisco Marathon packet pickup is this Friday, or at least that’s when I’m going. I just really, really want to run the marathon.

I’m trying to make the best of it with a little champagne that was in my refrigerator in my awesome See Jane Run glass.

butt2

The good news is that I have a solid PR in the half. I also have a very recent 12-minute PR in the marathon from April. So even if this weekend doesn’t go as planned, there’s always the next (which is the Half Moon Bay International Marathon).

Still…I’d hate to have the price of the marathon and my chance at the “52 Club” go down just because I got a little too aggressive with the therapy ball.

Running sucks, especially when you fall

Confession: I fall off my bike a lot. I love it dearly, but it’s fast and scary. (Yes, I’m wearing a helmet.) The last time I took my bike out for a ride, I crashed into a light pole I was trying to grab on to so I could unclip from the pedals quickly. I’ve kind of concluded that it will take a miracle for me to get better at cycling.

Second confession: In the hundreds of miles I’ve logged outside, I’ve only ever had a “tumble” when running. It wasn’t even a legitimate fall. It was, to say the least, weak sauce when it came to falls.

Until today.

trip4

That’s an epic bad wrist sprain thanks to a stupid broken sidewalk that I missed.

Let’s back up to this morning: Jennie and I were planning a noon 15-mile run through my very small city. Tracy is literally five miles each way, not counting the outlining areas, and pretty easy to navigate around. I have five, six, nine and 10 mile paths that are my “go-tos” when I need those distances. I usually do my long runs in an adjacent community where I know the paths, the sidewalks and basically feel comfortable about not getting cat calls (I’m not the cutest girl, but men can’t seem to resist yelling “hey baby!” or whistling as I run by).

Today, we decided on a Tracy run. That meant I needed a new plan since I didn’t want to repeat my five-milers three times.

We started out slow. It’s March 1, but it’s been pleasantly nice in California. I’d say it was somewhere in the 70s today, which was hard on us if only because we are so used to cold-weather running. My legs took forever to warm up. We got lost, my fault, once. And as we were finally getting our stride, I turned back and said something to Jennie…

SPLAT.

UGH.

OWWWWW.

ERRRRRUMMMM.

&*^&%^$#^&)%@!!!!!!!

All of that happened.

I had missed a part of the sidewalk that was sticking up. In broad daylight. And I was the spotter, the lead runner. I basically failed at my job today. (I’m also always the one with the headlamp, go figure.)

I think Jennie was so awestruck she didn’t know what happen.

She tried to pick me up off the ground as I rolled there, half stunned. The fall took my breath away. I got up and started walking.

I’ll premise this next stuff by saying this: Jennie is a mom.

She’s not just a mom. She’s a pretty excellent mom. And therefore Jennie went all mom on me (I’m not being patronizing, I’m actually really glad she did).

I got up and started walking. I was a little off. I couldn’t hear out of my right ear (!!!!). I was wobbly at best. My chest hurt. And the world around me kept getting black. I told her all these things.

“I’m going to call Chris to come get us,” she said, taking my phone. Chris is her husband. He was home today too (Jennie had off, I stepped away from my freelance stuff to run).

“We need to get you ice,” she said.

Twenty minutes later, we were stocking up on ice packs, bandages and Peeps (don’t judge me) at CVS, which happened to be right down the street from where I fell.

trip3

Jennie did an emergency wrap in the car. I was still kind of fuzzy.

Jennie also did something that I wouldn’t have done myself: She told me the run was over. No ands, ifs or buts. The run was over. I was to go home, take Ibuprofen, apply ice and rest.

That’s why I love Jennie. When she means business, she means business.

trip5

So I was all iced-up. I’m still feeling a little woozy. But my legs, which took a hard hit, don’t hurt, outside of a new war wound that isn’t too bad. I was surprised, actually, that my Nike Retro capris didn’t rip. I think if I’d been wearing any other pair of capris, I’d have a hole as big as my knee where I hit.

trip2

And let’s ignore the fact that I don’t shave my legs well.

Five hours later, I’m grateful for a few things. The first is that Jennie’s husband came and got us. I don’t think I would have been able to walk home. I barely got to CVS. We were about two miles from home. (Again, not long, but long enough when you can’t see anything right.) He’s a good guy like that.

The second thing is that Jennie has enough good sense for the two of us. She knew, despite my initial protests, that there was no way I’d finish this run, no matter how much I wanted it. And I did want it. This marathon training cycle has been so messed up that I really just want some good training runs so I know I’m ready for the April 7 marathon in San Luis Obispo.

I’m also grateful I’m not hurt worse than I am.

I’m a little wobbly still. I feel a little nausea as well. Jennie says I might have hit my head. I can’t remember if that happened (would I?), but I know I’m feeling off balance.

I have a wrap around my wrist, but it hurts far above where it stops as well.

I told my husband that’s what happens when 170 pounds falls hard on the ground. I’m not a light woman. I may not look that big, but my legs are pretty heavy. (When I started marathon training years ago, I weighed 160. I haven’t gained any inches per se, but I’ve gained weight. So it’s muscle, thank you very much.)

The Garmin, replaced as of November before the marathon, also is a little worse for the wear.

trip6

I’m pretty sure I looked down at it and was disappointed as Jennie was trying to hold me all together.

My legs are surprisingly feeling OK right now. I’m planning to do a short run with Sam tomorrow in fact. My arm and upper body aren’t feeling as great. I told Jennie it’s like I got hit by a car. There’s a lot of pain.

That said, my wrist movement, while slightly unbearable, isn’t enough to keep me away from work (or my blog).

But I’m saying it: Sometimes running sucks. For me it’s usually when my calves hurt so bad I can’t go any further and my body feels like giving up.

Even more: How come more cities don’t mark sidewalks when they are screwed up? I know that’s a lot to ask for. And I know my regular routes have marks where the sidewalk is broken, cracked or peaking up a little. Could I have been paying more attention? Yes, definitely. But still. A hazard is a hazard.

Speaking of which, I’m considering investing in this sign:

trip1

Not so much for the route, but for me. After ramming the woman at Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena and taking myself out today, I’m starting to think I may be the problem.

But I consider myself pretty cautious. I run at night with a headlamp and pepper spray. I scout the roads and crossings before we cross. I’m pretty vigilant. Except today. So how do I avoid being the tripping hazard?

Gift idea for a runner: Mini first aid kit

It’s no secret that runners, probably more often than the regular person, get blisters on their feet and other places on the body (hello chafing) as part of our training.

It’s also no secret that, in some cases, there is no way around those blisters.

So we have to suck it up in a lot of cases and hope that our feet and toes don’t get too thrashed in the process.

That’s part of the reason a small first aid kit is always in my gym bag. One that includes something to clean my wounds, and fix my running battle scars up for the ride home.

I found this little kit, with a plastic case and all, on a recent trip to my local 99-cent store. That’s right, for under a $1 I found this kit.

It includes:

– Two hand-cleansing wipes

– Four gauze pads

– Two ┬áregular-sized Band-Aids (name brand, yes)

– Four smaller Band-Aids

– The plastic case

Seriously, all for under a $1.

This is the perfect little stocking-stuffer gift item for a runner, even if, like me, he or she already has a first aid kit in their gym bag. I like this smaller-sized kit because I can also put in my my backpacks or even in my glove compartment just in case.

For the price, too, you can even buy the kit just for the contents, which are definitely worth more than that, and refill a kit you already have.

And, lets face it, a runner will likely always need something to clean up those race war wounds, so it’s bound to be useful.

The rub down

Total creeper photo, right?

I think I should put a caption on it that says “the scene of the crime” or something like that.

In truth, only good came from my visit to my massage therapist today. Usually only good comes from a visit, but today was notable.

I bought a membership about five months ago into our local corporate massage place. I figured if worse came to worse, I’d get a new therapist every time. So if I didn’t like one, there was always next time, right?

For the first few times, that theory actually worked in my favor. One therapist was too quiet. (I’m sorry, I like to gab when I’m relaxing.) One was too hard. I seriously had bruises on me from that visit. The other just wasn’t right. I was starting to feel like Goldilocks and the Three Massage Therapists.

Then I got Alyssa. Not only is she totally punk rock and easy to relate too, she’s also damn good at what she does. No kidding. I’ve never had a massage therapist so keen on making my legs feel like they can run forever. She’s a miracle worker, no kidding.

Today I came in with that nagging glute pain. She asked if it was bothering my back. Nope. So she went to work on me with me turned face up first. She really gets down into my stress areas, specifically my left shoulder. That’s where EVERY SINGLE BIT OF STRESS EVER hides. I swear. It’s likely because I have some nerve damage back there.

Then she started working and stretching my legs. I immediately felt a tinge of pain in the area I felt it in while running earlier this week. I felt like moaning out loud…then it stopped.

Alyssa kept working it, moving my leg to treat all my muscles. I’ve also been having some hip pain, usually from overworking out, and that, too, just disappeared. When I got to my car, I wasn’t even slightly upset about the $60+ it was going to take to fill my tank to get to work tonight.

Now I feel light. I feel like I want to jump on the treadmill and just go for a run.

I’m waiting until Saturday though. I have a 5.5-mile race on Sunday, so I’m doing my long run on Saturday. Since 5.5 miles is typically around what I run on weeknights, I figure I don’t need the rest. (Maybe that will come back and haunt me later? We’ll see.)

All I know is that I feel so much better since my rub down. And sorry for the creepy stalker photo…the rooms are dark and I don’t like posting without photos…so there you go.

My best friend today

In the middle of my Tuesday-night run (with new shoes!) I started getting a nagging pain in my left glute.

The nagging pain became more and more substantial with each step, so I slowed down. Nothing changed. The pain grew as did my grimace. There was no way I was going to go my six miles for the day.

I settled for four.

Not horrible, but not up to expectations either.

Was it the shoes? They are the same, exact pair I had before. Was it the speed? I was moving along at a 10-minute mile pace.

I don’t know. All I know is when I got off the treadmill and started walking, it didn’t seem to go away. So much so that I took some pain reliever and called it a night.

This morning I woke up determined to run and get some of my missed mileage back. But I grabbed my Grid roller first. Instead of spending 30-minutes running three miles on my treadmill, I spent that time working out a massive ball of hard muscle in my leg.

The pain was killer. I was making grunting noises. My dogs kept looking at me like I was a lady possessed.

But I jumped on the treadmill, queued up my iPad and ran three slow miles just to see how it felt. No pain. For now.

My work today included a two-hour video shoot where, outside of some discomfort when I did a ground shot, my glute didn’t feel bad. I also took my TigerTail to work to rub out the spot whenever I was sitting for a long period of time. (Yes, I totally rub out my legs at work. My job includes coding and hours of word/video editing, so sometimes I sit for awhile and it’s really helpful.)

I haven’t had any severe or significant pain in my legs for sometime. In fact, the last I can remember is nursing an IT band in my right leg at the beginning of the year. I’m hoping that I just tweaked something by running or stepping funny. Otherwise my Grid roller and my TigerTail might be my new best friends for some time.

Crossing my fingers that’s not the case.